Things they don’t Teach at Architecture School~No. 3: Install Trust
The most important thing that the client brings to the table in any architecture project is trust.
The client has to have complete trust that the architect is sufficiently qualified and experienced to work with what is probably their most expensive investment – their house.
Whether it’s the gutting of a house in order to see a beautiful minimilist swan emerge or the creation of a unique home on the families hard fought-for or paid-for land; the client has to trust the architect not to mess up and to deliver the project on-time, on-budget and without histrionics and heart attacks.
So, how can you know whether you’ll like the design? Trust – the architect should explain the design completely in 3D
How do I know that my favourite sofa will fit in the space? Trust – the architect should take into account any existing furniture that you have and plan accordingly.
Can you do a few drawings without me paying to see if I like what you do? Sorry, you’re going to have to Trust me to understand your requirements, site or house and to formulate a brief that outlines exactly what you’re looking for. And then you’re going to have to Trust me that I can produce a design based on my qualifactions, experience and track record that will exceed your expectations.
The relationship between Client and Architect is very similar to a marriage; and when things go wrong (I’m not naive enough to think they never do); it’s not the fact that you’ve slept with the au-pair (this is an example and not my life story!), what has been destroyed is the Trust. And sometimes as in a marriage it’s very hard to get that trust back.
So, my advice to all students of Architecture is to develop an all-enveloping trust that your client can completely rely on you at all stages of the project; from the design to the detailing to the contract administration and building through to completion… Not easy but essential.
Comments as always, welcome…